COLUMBUS, Ohio– Logan Stieber and Hunter Stieber, members of the Ohio State wrestling team, were crowned Big Ten champions Sunday afternoon, March 10, at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill. The conference title was the second for Logan, who defended his 133-pound championship and first for younger brother, Hunter, who wrestled at 141 pounds.
In addition to the Stieber brothers, seven Buckeyes – Nikko Triggas, Ian Paddock, Josh Demas, Mark Martin, Nick Heflin, C.J. Magrum and Andrew Campolattano – qualified for the NCAA championships, which will take place March 21-23 in Des Moines, Iowa.
As a team, Ohio State finished fourth with 109.5 points. Penn State won its third consecutive Big Ten tournament title with 151 points, while Minnesota was second with 139 points. Iowa rounded out the Top 3 with 133.5 points.
Winning his first two matches via fall, Logan wrestled No. 2 seed Tony Ramos of Iowa to a 3-1 sudden victory. Following a scoreless first period, Ramos chose bottom and scored an escape to take a 1-0 lead. However, Logan evened the score at 1-all when he recorded an escape in the opening moments of the third period. As time ticked off the clock in regulation, Logan was unable to score the last-second takedown and both wrestlers ready themselves for a one-minute sudden victory period. It was in the bonus session, Logan was able to score the match-winning takedown and defend his Big Ten title.
Appearing in his first Big Ten final after finishing third in 2012, Hunter beat No. 3 Mark Ballweg, 8-3, thanks largely to a 4-1 lead after the first period on a pair of takedowns. Hunter added to his lead in the second when he escaped Ballweg and recorded a takedown before Ballweg was able to score the second of his three escapes of the match. Adding riding time, Hunter beat Ballweg, 8-3.
In the third-place bout, 157-pounder Demas dropped a 3-2 decision to No. 1 Derek St. John of Iowa. A takedown by St. John with 20 seconds remaining in he match for a 3-1 lead was enough for the Iowa win, despite a last second escape by Demas. Previously, Demas handed Minnesota’s and eighth seed Danny Zilverberg a 12-6 loss to advance to the third-place match up.
Appearing in his final Big Ten championship at 125 pounds, Triggas finished fifth when he beat No. 7 David Thorn, 3-2. Despite a reversal by Thorn in the early moments of the second period, Triggas escaped to cut Thorn’s lead, 2-1. Choosing bottom in the third period, Triggas tied the score, 2-2, after escaping Thorn and eventually forcing overtime. Following a scoreless one-minute sudden victory period, Triggas and Thorn traded 30-second ride outs. Holding Thorn for 30 seconds, Triggas escaped in the subsequent 30-second period for the win.
At 174 pounds, Heflin won the fifth-place match up when he defeated No. 8 Dan Yates of Michigan, 5-3. Heflin scored a quick takedown to open the match, but Yates escaped for the 2-1 score which ended the first period. An escape by Yates to open the second tied the score, but Heflin recorded another takedown to go up 4-2. Once again, Yates answered with a takedown to cut Heflin’s lead to 4-3, but a final escape, this time by Heflin in the third period, secured the Buckeye win. Magrum wrapped up his final Big Ten championship with a 5-1 victory vs. No. 6 seed Tony Dallago of Illinois. In the final seconds of the first period, Magrum scored a takedown to take a 2-0 lead, but Dallago was able to escape in the second after choosing bottom. With no additional scoring in the second period, both wrestlers started at neutral in the third and Magrum extended his lead to 4-1 after a takedown and eventually locked up the win.
Campolattano did not stay on the mat long when he faced Michigan’s and No. 8 Max Huntley in the fifth-place match up. Just 1:31 in the match, Campolattano pinned Huntley.
Paddock suffered back-to-back losses Sunday, but still finished sixth at 149 pounds. Opening the day with an 8-5 setback to No. 2 Ivan Lopouchanski of Purdue, Paddock lost the fifth-place bout, 6-3, to No. 7 Dan Osterman of Michigan State.
In his first conference championship, Martin finished eighth in the 165-pound bracket. Martin dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 7 Ryan LeBlanc of Indiana in the seventh-place match up. After a scoreless first period, LeBlanc chose bottom and scored an escape to take a 1-0 lead. However, Martin answered with an escape in the third period to tie the score, but as time expired, LeBlanc scored a takedown for the win.
(Ed. Note: All photos courtesy of Karen Jayne).
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